Website launch – MADE-BY

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Website launch – MADE-BY

In February 2014 MADE-BY approached Hand Coded Studio to ask if we could build their new website.

MADE-BY works with fashion and textile brands who want to improve the full lifecycle impact of their collections, from raw materials to finished products and beyond. This support comes in the form of bespoke consultancy services, long-term partnerships, and our free-to-use, publicly available tools.

History

MADE-BY’s existing site was built upon Drupal CMS, which had worked well for the organisation. However after a few years they realised that they had outgrown the website. For example, they were unable to keep historical news reports – so they had to keep removing old reports to add new reports.

Below are a few screenshot of the old website:


New Design

Their head designer, Phil Bettany, had been working hard to produce design templates and mock-ups of all the important pages. We were tasked with turning these Photoshop designs into fully working WordPress templates and configuring WordPress to allow the MADE-BY staff to easily edit content.

Here are a few screenshots of the new website:


Multilingual

MADE-BY have offices in London, Amsterdam and Dusseldorf so their specification required the site to be multilingual, in English, Italian and German. They had previously been using Google Translate, but had found this free service to sometimes be unreliable.

After some research we suggested that each page was translated into the 3 languages to ensure that content was translated correctly. At first we thought that using subdomains would be a good idea, however we decided to structure the URLs with the language code after the main domain name.



Technology

MADE-BY had produced some brave designs that would push our HTML, CSS and JavaScript skills to the maximum. For example, they wanted the homepage to include several ‘slides’ that the user could scroll/jump through.

Internal content pages required the addition of a parallax effect. After some research and testing we settled on using a jQuery plugin called Skrollr. We discovered that this plugin would give us the most flexibility without too much unnecessary mark-up being added to the page.

This project required maximum flexibility with their Content Management System. Through past experience we knew that WordPress would be an ideal fit for MADE-BY. I’ve listed a few reasons below why we choose WordPress:

  • WordPress offers over 30,000 plugins that allow us to extend the abilities of the CMS. For example, we use one plugin to produce XML sitemap files and another to track edits made by staff.
  • WordPress have a large community of users and contributors that are continually working on improving the CMS. They regularly release updates and patches to avoid any possible security threats.
  • WordPress is built in PHP and runs on the client’s server – this allows us to easily edit the source code and add any extra functionality required.

With the increase of mobile devices and users, we’re always encouraging our clients to ensure that their sites are designed & built to be responsive. Alongside our custom CSS we chose to use the Zurb Foundation framework to allow us to easily layout pages. MADE-BY were keen to give a great experience to mobile & tablet users and allow them to complete core tasks. Along with a simplified design, we also decided to remove some of the extra animations to ensure that page loaded quickly.

23 April 2015